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History & Archives

We have a century of vibrant history inside these walls

A brief history

The City of Calgary grew from 11,967 in 1906 to 60,502 in 1911. A number of these newcomers were of English background, and members of the Church of England.  In 1888 a new Anglican diocese was formed in Calgary with Cyprian Pinkham as its first bishop and in 1912 he established Christ Church Elbow Park. 

Elbow Park was at the edge of the city and most of the hilly land was still clad in its original grass with few trees, except by the river.  The city was putting in roads and developer, Fred Lowes, offered the diocese a building lot for a new church.  On June 25th, 1912, the year of the first Calgary Stampede, 40 families petitioned the bishop to erect a church in Elbow Park.  At their first meeting, they named it “Christ Church,” and selected Laing and Major as architects for what was to be an $80,000 structure. Despite boom times, they decided to build it in stages.  With the interruptions of the Great War, the Depression and the Second World War 1939-1945, it would take 42 years to complete.  Its building is well know for its McCausland stained glass windows, its remarkable tracker action organ, its change bells, and its outstanding choir.  Christ Church is a remarkable parish that has not only contributed quietly to the wider community, but has been the spiritual home to those who have provided leadership to the City, the Province and the Nation.

Our Archives

The Christ Church Elbow Park Archives consists of over 500 files and 90 boxes of documents, printed material, photographs, and architectural drawings dating back to 1913. It is housed at the parish, and available to all researchers.  

Directions on how to use the archives and the various ways to find what you are looking for can be found below.

To access the full collection, please contact Christ Church to set up an Archival consultation at

Click here to access the archives manual; 

a step-by-step guide

to using the archives.

Click here to access the finding aid, as well as assistance in navigating the archives.

Click here to access the online files, organized by box and file number.

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